Willow Creek Trailhead
Info

Location

Road Difficulty

2WD, rough dirt road 2   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
Easy 4WD may be required because the road often forms deep dips and portions are a bit steep.

Driving Directions

Take Colorado 17 to the town of Moffat. On the south side of town, look for a sign for the turn to Crestone. Turn east on the "RD T" road. You will soon see a Forest Service sign that says 15 miles to the South Crestone trailhead. Drive 11.4 miles to a road junction. Keep left and follow the main road into Crestone. In Crestone, turn right (east) onto Galena Street and the road will turn to 2WD dirt, with approx. 2 miles to go. When the road enters National Forest, it is labeled as the "South Crestone Road 949" and becomes more difficult but good-clearance vehicles should be able to make it to the end.

Winter Access

Unknown
Status Updates 
  
Posted By: aussie
Info: Made it to the trailhead without issue in a stock Subaru Forester. Had to take it slow through one rutted out section. Kept all my food and scented items in a bear canister out of site in my car and had no problems. Plenty of toilet paper at the toilet, but someone had left trash inside. The trailhead was right on a creek so easy to stock up on water and was a great way to clean and cool my feet after a long hike!
 
Posted By: MountainBuhn
Info: Easy drive. One of the few dirt roads that has actually gotten better over time (last year had larger ruts). Definitely gets crowded. Definitely bring water as this area is lower (8,800) and much more desert climate. Kept some bleach in the car as it deters bear smells. Didn’t hear of any more reports after last week. Surprisingly low amount of mosquitos. Warmer spring this year probably the cause.
 
Posted By: davedad
Info: Smooth sailing on the drive in a Prius. I wanted to give people a heads up about a trailhead bear. We were gone for 2 nights and returned to a break-in. We left an empty cooler in the car. There was no food in the car but the bear must have seen the cooler and equated it with food. The bear broke a rear window and explored the interior of the car. Nothing but sandy paw prints and some shredded cardboard left behind. Be thoughtful and leave nothing in your car. (We had a car with no food in it and still got stung.)
 
Posted By: IHikeLikeAGirl
Info: Overall, the road is in great condition, passenger cars can make it to the TH. But yes, pay attention to a few dips or a rock in the road (ALL avoidable). Friday night, the parking lot appeared to fill up, quickly. Outhouse is awesome, but has a pile of trash in it (thank you to the inconsiderate/selfish people who left it...yes, sarcasm), no TP, and appears to be in need of a cleaning.
 
Posted By: CaptCO
Info: Smooth as butter. Easy 2WD. Outhouse is open but bring your own TP. Cell service at TH parking area
1 
Posted By: stickmann
Info: Road is open all the way to the trailhead. No snow left. There is a short section about 0.3 miles before the trailhead that has some pretty big bumps/divots to navigate and might be difficult for low clearance vehicles until it is filled in.
 
Posted By: CaptCO
Info: Gate closure still in effect 1 1/4 mile from TH. Bathrooms still open with TP. Muddy/icy in the beginning and variable conditions following to 10k. Backpacked in and booted to 11k at the head wall without needing snowshoes or traction. This will differ depending on the boots you use. Snow gets deeper after the creek crossing with limited water filter options. Turned around early due to several decisions
5 
Posted By: JakeByk
Info: Definitely want clearance but good with AWD. There are some weird dips in the road 2/3rd the way up which are timed just perfectly that if you’re not super careful you can bottom out. Closest I’ve come to bottom-out; I drive a Forester. There are bathrooms at the trailhead (bless).
 
Posted By: wintersage
Info: Ditto previous post. The dirt road is a little bumpy with some maybe-avoidable holes that might make it tough for 2WD, but it is generally mellow and accessible.
 
Posted By: clairekm
Info: Gate is open and the road is dry
 
Posted By: jscully205
Info: Theres a locked gate located about mile before of the summer TH parking lot. I pulled off to the side of the road and started there.
 
Posted By: mikefromcraig
Info: An average passenger car with decent tires could make it to the trailhead. The majority of the road is dry. The bathroom at the TH is unlocked.
 
Posted By: ibgordo
Info: Road to the trailhead is in very good shape. 2WD will make it with ease. The trail to Willow Lake is also in very good shape and completely clear.

The bear that was raiding camp sites at Willow Lake was killed and removed by rangers on 8/3/18. Please continue to hang your food so this doesn’t happen again...
 
Posted By: thurs
Info: It’s definitely easy 2WD right now. I blazed up there in a low clearance minivan at a decent speed.

At 10:30pm on a Friday there were still some spots. At 3pm on Saturday, there were no spots and people parked a good ways down the road. Keep that in mind.

According to the register at the TH, the bear is still active and breaking into people’s tents at Willow Lake!
 
Posted By: stratton42
Info: Made it easily in a Toyota Prius. There were some rocks/ruts that were easy to see and navigate around or straddle. There is an active bear near the willow lake campsites. The bear ripped my partners pad, tent and sleeping bag we assume because he was looking for food. My partner tore his site down before the assent thinking the bear would leave it alone if it were packed. I left my site set up and the bear left it alone. The bear is not afraid of people. We were able to chase it off by banging rocks or camp pots together. You MUST hang your food or bring a bear proof container.
1 
Posted By: BenThom11
Info: Made it all the way in my Honda Civic with no difficulties. Many other low clearance cars were there too, including a mustang.
 
Posted By: apasquel
Info: Drove my Prius to TH...no problem. Any car can get up there.
 
Posted By: Tornadoman
Info: Made it to the TH in Toyota Corolla, there are somewhat rough sections, especially on a couple hills. If wet, they may have challenged my vehicle’s capability but dry this road should be manageable.
 
Posted By: Yalegirl09
Info: 
 
Posted By: Thevirtualsherpa
Info: Bugs=dead. New toliet at TH, but quickly runs out of TP, so I would bring your own. You can easily get here in almost any car in the world, its essentially like driving down a dirt road. TH can fit about 30 cars and will fill up on busy weekends. Camping along road itself and a few scattered spots around TH. There is actually a really nice spot behind the bathroom which I used.
 
Posted By: sibyllec
Info: There is now a toilet at the trailhead.
 
Posted By: speach
Info: Easily made it to the trailhead in a Prius, which only has 5.5" of clearance. Mosquitoes are still insane right now. I suggest putting on bug spray *before* you exit the car, or at least immediately afterwards, and be quick with opening/closing the doors. Bring a lot of bug spray for the hike too, as the mosquitoes are present for the entire Willow Creek approach and beyond.
 
Posted By: Yalegirl09
Info: The road is somewhat washboard but is accessible to 2WD. The swarms of mosquitoes are in full force. Just opening the car door let about 50-60 in. We used an entire bottle of bug spray.
 
Posted By: Shattuck311
Info: Completely dry. Passable to 2wd. I got my Honda Fit up there no problem.
 
Posted By: Roald
Info: Easily doable in any passenger car. No clearance or AWD/4WD needed.
 



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